When Sir Garfield Sobers scored 365* runs in an innings in Test cricket in 1958 all those years ago, who would have thought that anyone could break that record his countryman Brian Lara did it 36 years later against England in 1994 scoring 375 and then two months later he scored 501* in County Championship in England. 10 years later, he even got to 400 in Test cricket. Brian Lara was in a league of his own, he was Bazballing even before it became a playing style. Lara became one of the greats of the game because playing long is an art in Test cricket and he mastered it with aplomb.
Several players came before and after him but no one could get near him. Even in the current generation the likes of David Warner, Travis Head and Ben Stokes are known for their aggressive playing style and have done it many times in Test cricket as well but 400 seems a bridge too far for anyone and everyone including Virat Kohli or any other member of Fab 4. However, Lara has now picked an Indian youngster who could break both his records of 400 and 501.
It is none other than Shubman Gill. Gill, who had a memorable 2023 where he scored a century across all formats and even in the IPL and a double hundred in an ODI as well, has been tipped to be the next big thing by several former and current cricketers around the world. Lara labelled him the most talented batter of the current generation.
Speaking to Anandabazar Patrika, Lara said, "Shubman Gill can break both my records. Gill is the most talented batter in this new generation. He will rule cricket in the coming years. I believe he will go on to break many big records."
Gill, who started as an opener in Test cricket, has mastered ODIs and even T20s if IPL 2023 was any indication, but he is still getting used to the No.3 position. He has scored two centuries in the format but with age being by his side, there is a good decade and a half ahead of him.
Lara said that he might not have got a century in the recently concluded World Cup 2023 but he looked good and said that if he can play County Cricket, he might break his record of 501 as well because the 400-one he can break easily as per him since the game has changed so much. Lara further praised Gill's strokeplay against pacers and the way comes down the track to them.
"He (Gill) can do it (break my records). Gill didn't score a century (in the World Cup) but look a the knocks he has already played. He has centuries in all formats, has smashed a double hundred in ODIs and has also played many match-winnings in the IPL. I'm sure he will many ICC tournaments in the future," Lara said.
"If Gill plays County cricket then he can break my 501*. In Test cricket, he can surely go past 400. Cricket has changed a lot, especially batting. Batters play t20 leagues across the globe. IPL has changed everything. The scoring rate has gone up. So you will keep seeing big scores. Shubman will score big, mark my words," Lara further added.